No Good Deed Goes Unpunished !



I wanted to share this little article from our local newspaper with you guys:

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Employee fired for trying to catch shoplifter

As reported in the Ann Arbor News, December 27, 2007 14:25PM

ANN ARBOR -- John Schultz lost his job at Whole Foods Market in Ann Arbor after he tried to stop a shoplifter from making a getaway. But the company says he went too far and violated a policy that prohibits employees from physically touching a customer - even if that person is carrying a bag of stolen goods.

Schultz says he had just taken a break at 7 p.m. on Sunday when he heard a commotion at the front door of the store, 3135 Washtenaw Ave. He said he came to the aid of the manager, who yelled for help in stopping a shoplifter. Schultz, the manager and another employee cornered the shoplifter between two cars in the parking lot.

Schultz said he told the shoplifter he was making a citizens arrest and to wait for the police to arrive, but the shoplifter broke away from the group and ran across Washtenaw Avenue and toward a gas station at the corner of Huron Parkway.

Before the man could cross Huron Parkway, Schultz caught up and grabbed the man's jacket and put his leg behind the man's legs. When the manager arrived at the intersection, Schultz said, the manager told him to release the shoplifter, and he complied, and the shoplifter got away.

Schultz said he was called to the store's office the next day, on Christmas Eve, and was fired because he violated a company policy prohibiting employees from having any physical contact with a customer.

Kate Klotz, a company spokesperson, said the policy is clear and listed in a booklet that all employees have to acknowledge that they received before they can start work.

"The fact that he touched him, period, is means for termination," said Klotz.

Schultz said he acted as a private citizen on property that isn't owned by Whole Foods, but Klotz said where the incident happened doesn't change the policy.

"He is still considered an employee of Whole Foods Market regardless of where he was and what was happening," she said.

The police report of the incident doesn't mention Schultz's involvement. It says police responded to the call of retail fraud at 7:09 p.m. and could not locate the shoplifter.

The thief was described as a thin white male, 5-foot-10, in his mid-20s, wearing a black jacket, tan pants and carrying a backpack.

The report says store employees were suspicious when the man walked into the store and they watched as he filled up a basket and then took it into a bathroom. When he came out, his basket was empty, but his backpack looked full. Then he filled up a canvas store tote bag with groceries, and walked out the door.

The manager and the other employee told police they caught up to the shoplifter at the corner of Washtenaw and Huron Parkway. It says one of them grabbed the tote bag away from the shoplifter, and the suspect walked away. The bag contained $346 worth of food and other products.

Schultz, 35, of Ypsilanti Township, had worked at the store for five years, most recently as a fishmonger. He wants his job back.

"The fact that I worked at the store at (the time of the robbery) is coincidental," he said. "If I had went over to the book store on my break and they were being ripped off, I would have helped them."

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My take?

Yes, Whole Foods has a policy which prohibits employees from touching a cuastomer. However, a key point, which Whole Foods doesn't appear to be able to comprehend, is that this wasn't "customer". "Customers" purchase comodiities and/or services. This was a THIEF. Thieves don't purchase. They steal.

If Whole Foods is serious about this policy, I will be only too happy to travel to the 'People's Republic of Ann Arbor' to do my shop(lift)ing. If I can get $346 worth of groceries in one canvas shop(lift)ing bag, then these are the kinds of goodies I want to fill my pantry!

No word yet on whether or not the "customer" is planning on suing ... But, I bet he will! And, if it's truly a jury of his peers, he'll get a hefty settlement !!!!!

Boy, oh boy. That's justice for ya. Ain't it?


Things sure are getting crazy....

Around here, they are coming to the suburbs on the bus. Get off the bus, run into Best Buy and grab a TV, monitor, etc. Take off running with the thing under their arm, and get back on the bus.

And again...the employees are not allowed to go after the thief.

So all the merchandise has to be kept in the back now, after you pay, they go back and get it for you.


:dizzy The guy deserves a medal not a pink slip. I agree Calgon this was not a customer, this was a thief.

As I recall, Washtenaw and Huron Parkway is a pretty busy intersection to be running through traffic.


That is almost the stupidest thing that I have ever read!


Whole Foods needs to step up to the plate and give the guy his job back. How ridiculous!

I was planning on stopping by Whole Foods when I was in St Louis on NYD but now I don't think I will.


You know, if they hadn't fired the guy, the thief probably would have sued him for assault!

We weren't supposed to detain them by touching them either in our store. But, our head cashier saw a guy shoplift something, and she chased him out the door and across the parking lot. He got away, but she gave him a run for his (our?) money.

BTW she was 4'11 and 70 years old.


Isn't things like this why we call our system the " criminal justice " system?? The criminals get all the justice and aid that we as law abiding citizens and taxpayers can furnish for them.
We surely wouldn't want a criminal hurt or otherwise stressed in any way in the commission of their crimes.
As a matter of fact, I think the government ( us taxpayers ) should have to furnish workers comp coverage for all criminals.That way if a thief
breaks into your house one night and you are lucky enough to brain him with a ballbat before he kills you, he could draw workers comp while he is laid up ( out on bond of course ) and consults with his attorneys on how to proceed with his lawsuit against you. Being in the thief business and hurt on the job and being unable to pursue his occupation as a thief until his cracked head heals would certainly make him eligible for benefits. This is just one more-- but certainly a major thing that we, as taxpayers and law abiding citizens, can add to the " criminal justice " system for these people.

Two things here while i'm on my box--- we have a Shriners hospital for crippled children here in my city. Every year they have donations, etc.
to buy toys for the crippled kids for Christmas. A few days prior to Christmas 2 brothers-- get this -- both in their mid 30's-- broke into the bldg. and stole a bunch of the toys. They also damaged and destroyed many others. They were caught and are in jail. On the good side, people came to the rescue with toys, money, time, etc. and made it all up in time for the kids to get their toys for Christmas.
One group that helped was a motorcycle group that normally you wouldn't expect to help someone out. Word is that when these 35-36 yr. old brothers get out, they may have a few people waiting to greet them at some out of the way place.
One other thing please-- this makes you wonder where we get judges from and how they get to be judges--- we had a man in jail charged on a murder that happened approx. two years ago. Took the police almost that long to finally link him to the crime. A wise ol' judge let him out one day to go to the Dr. --- get this-- unaccompanied--meaning he was alone, no guards--no one. But, he DID promise that he would certainly come straight back to jail when his Dr's. appt. was up. Now would you believe it if I said that he didn't come back?? How dare a fellow like that tell a lie ! It Took thousands of taxpayers money and dozens of police to finally catch him several states away. Some of the things that our judges do should be listed in Ripley's believe it or not. =huh